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Smokey Bear Fire Prevention PSAs 1960-1980




Smokey Bear Fire Prevention Public Service Announcements, ca. 1960 - ca. 1980. Description @ National Archives:
  • Ray Charles: a personal viewpoint (60 sec.). A dark screen with the words a personal viewpoint' appearing in yellow letters. Ray Charles explains the different sounds he loves to hear in the forest. He cautions viewers: "Please be careful with fire, because when we lose a forest we lose a lot more than meets the eye.
  • Think (10 sec.). Close-up on an animated Smokey Bear as he says, "Next time you're in the forest do me a favor." Long shot of the word, THINK, with Smokey and a pine sapling replacing the letter I. 
  • Only You (10 sec.). A forest fire appears; the camera then zooms out until the fire is revealed to be a reflection in the left eye of a costumed Smokey Bear. Smokey looks at the camera and says, "Only you."
  • America the Ugly (30 sec.). A lit, wooden match falls onto a group of matches arranged in the shape of the continental United States; all of the matches are then consumed by the fire. In the background are voices singing "America the beautiful." Over this singing a narrator states that "one careless second with a match and America the beautiful becomes America the ugly."
  • Mask (30 sec.). Begins with a close-up of the face of a young, blonde woman. She cautions viewers to be careful with fire in the forest in order to prevent forest fires. Extreme close-up of her face and hair as she tilts her head down; a costumed Smokey Bear raises his head making it appear as though the woman's face was only a mask that he was wearing. Smokey says, "If you knew it was me would you have listened?"
  • I Think I Love You Smokey Bear (60 sec.). A female singer on stage with a microphone sings part of the song: I think I love you Smokey Bear. At the conclusion she walks over to a costumed Smokey Bear and strokes his cheek.
  • Little Fire (60 sec.). Images of two young boys throwing a lit match into dry brush, a hiker tossing a lit cigarette aside, a burning campfire with a car driving away, and an unmonitored trash fire are juxtaposed with images of a raging forest fire. A narrator states that "Nine out of ten forest fires are caused by little fires." The words: only you can prevent forest fires' appear on the screen at the end.
  • Wristwatch (10 sec.). Close-up on a wristwatch with Smokey Bear painted on the face. The second hand begins at 10 and ends at 12. A narrator states, "By the time the second hand reaches 12, forest fires will have burned down another 100 trees unless you help."
  • Careless (60 sec.). Begins with a light brown background, then an outline of a pine tree appears as if being sketched by an unseen hand. A flame then appears and follows the path of the outline, consuming it. "Please help prevent forest fires" appears at the bottom of the screen. A narrator states that "It can take nature one hundred careful years to grow a tree, but man can burn it down in just one careless second. Please help prevent forest fires."


National Archives Identifier: 13458



Run time 6 minutes 30 seconds
Producer United States. Forest Service
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English

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